The British Muslim Who Founded a Controversial Gay-Friendly Mosque

Dr. Taj Hargey is a radical, but also a fundamentalist. He points out, Islam is about the Qur'an, and it is from the Qur'an that he will preach, ignoring all the other footnotes beloved of modern clerics. All of that stuff, he says, has no pertinence to the Qur'an: It's a book that rejects violence, doesn't mention the burqa, embraces a role for women, and doesn't explicitly ban images of Muhammad or encourage Muslims to murder satirical cartoonists.

Hargey took part of his salary as an Oxford don and started his own mosque in South Africa late last year. The place of worship, he says—unlike most around the world—is both gay-friendly and woman-friendly. Which is exactly why he's not getting on so well within the local community of sects, imams, and governing councils. His "Open Mosque" in Cape Town has been firebombed three times since it commenced operations in September. "They also tried to drive a 4x4 through the doors... but for me, right now, the project is about holding on," he tells me. Read More